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July 23, 2014

Too much Soup

by Michael Pascua, posted Jun 29th 2009 5:00PM
Web Soup on G4I was a fan of The Soup back when it was called Talk Soup and was hosted by Hal Sparks (I'm too young for the Greg Kinnear and John Henson eras). I've become a fan of Joel McHale and appreciate his writing staff and his comedic timing. Never in my wildest imagination did I ever think that Talk Soup would ever become a franchise like Law & Order, CSI, or NCIS.

Soon four versions of the soup showed up on E!'s sibling channels: The Dish (on Style), Sports Soup (on Versus), Web Soup (on G4), and Celebrity Soup (the British version), but none can compare to the original. The Dish is funny for female oriented television as Sports Soup is for watching the most awkward sports shows. Web Soup feels like a hiccup in the thought process.

Joel McHale set the standard for the other Soup renditions on comedic timing and sarcasm. He has his own bag of tricks and gags that work well for him. Sports Soup's Matt Iseman gives off sports bar attitude and feel, while The Dish's Danielle Fishel has that bubbly/sarcastic personality that differentiates herself. My biggest gripe with Chris Hardwick is that he sounds just like Joel McHale. If I closed my eyes and you played me a clip I couldn't tell the two apart. I guess imitation is the best form of flattery.

The biggest flaw I have with Web Soup (or any Web on TV shows) is that a video could be around for months online and they showcase it as if it's new. The internet's word of mouth spreads faster than herpes and a video like Shoes or sneezing baby panda is in and out in a month. Websites like CollegeHumor and Daily Motion showcase current videos and move on to the next craze. I don't need comedic reactions, the video normally suffices for itself and YouTube posts dumb reactions if you really want to see a commentary.

One of the best things about The Soup is that it points out funny things that happened within the week of airing; things I've actually missed because I don't watch every television channel. I've seen all the clips on Web Soup before. Also, weren't there already web videos on G4? Whacked Out Videos at least attempted to fit the demographic for G4 viewers. Web Soup just shows that G4 doesn't know where it's headed with it's demographic.

I believe that Comcast saw how well The Soup did and wanted to cash out on the craze. I would only watch any other version of The Soup only if it is on right after The Soup. Do people think these copycat shows are equally as good or is this like how there are CSI purists who can't stand David Caruso on CSI: Miami? What's your opinions on The Soup family? Leave comments below.

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dreamer101

Talk soup was and is a great program, the TS favorite Soupy Stan , was invited by Gov. Schwarzenegger to Austria, to be a Gossip show about Europe and its cultural diversity. So Soupy Stan has to learn french, italien, as he was invited By Pope Benedict to visit the Vatican and write a new screenplay. He will be the director of the new Movie. Alos the pope has nominated him "Saint Stan" the patron saint of Holy-wood=Hollywood. There was a translation problem, as in Italien Hollywood, doesn't mean Sin-City, but Holy City. So the Pope wants to compete with the movie industry. Stan Evans was so chosen, and we all hope he will accept the Vatican assingment, and the writer-director job for 1Billion$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. The Pope has permitted Stan Evans to chose his own team to work with, so there will be no oceurring ego problems,or other demands that collide and can inhibit Stan's creative capabilities to produce the movie and shows. Thank you. Do not call us.

August 22 2009 at 5:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dreamer101

I really like the soup style cop cats of the orginal talk soup, the emmy award winning writer /director Stan Evans, was ofted copied but that's the highst form of flattery. He is also a very talented movie script writer and should earn $$Billions from his copy cats. Please give him the credit he so deserves when you emulate his writing style, recycle his original material. Its only fair and honest. Thank you copy cats!!!!

August 19 2009 at 2:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dreamer101's comment
dreamer101

sorry about the typo.. coppy Kats.. {LOL},the talented writer, producer, actor, director is often kept behind the scenes and he has also written several screen plays for which he deserves all the fortune and fame to gain. Should he write a docUdrama about Michael Vicks??? or Barry Bonds? Bernie Madhoff perhaps??? or any other names come to mind???

August 20 2009 at 2:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Melanie51

I've watched The Soup since it was Talk Soup with Greg Kinnear and it's certainly had its ups and downs through the years (Aisha Tyler). I still remember Senor Sock. Each time I thought I wouldn't enjoy a new host, but Henson & McHale proved me wrong; Sparks & Tyler not so much. The second episode of Web Soup was funnier than the first and I thought Hardwick seemed to be getting into a groove, so maybe it's just a matter of time. In any event, I probably won't go looking to watch any of the franchises but will catch them if nothing else is on or maybe by accident (like when my Dish guide said I had dvr'd The Soup, but it was Web Soup...twice on "E" not G4).

June 30 2009 at 1:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
purpleslog

Hal Sparks just sucked. He killed the old Talk Soup for me. He just isn't funny. He is also kind of a jerk. If I see him on a talk show, I reach for my remote.

June 30 2009 at 8:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pingles

Chris Hardwick is funny. Web Soup is awkward and forced. I am not a fan. :(

June 29 2009 at 10:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RobynM

I'm actually enjoying Web Soup. I don't do sports or fashion, so that's the only one I watch aside from the original Soup. Although Danielle Fishel is a pretty good host, based on the clips I've seen.

It's Tosh.0 that makes my skin crawl - I barely got through one episode and decided never again.

DJ and The Fro isn't too bad, but more for the wraparound stories than the clips - they definitely need to improve or drop that part of the show.

June 29 2009 at 9:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brandon

"I guess imitation is the best form of flattery". Are you kidding? Chris Hardwick was doing stand-up long before Joel McHale. You would have found that out with a quick Google search. There are comics out there that deserve to be labeled copycats, but Hardwick isn't one of them.

June 29 2009 at 8:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Brandon's comment
Michael Pascua

Sure Hardwick has been around longer, but McHale has been doing a Soup show long before Hardwick did Web Soup. It's inevitable that the two will be compared and with a similar writing staff you have to look at execution.

Hardwick sounds like McHale in execution and tone of voice. So he's like a knockoff trying to do McHale's shtick.

June 29 2009 at 9:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nate

I don't ever forget that five long years ago, that The Soup started out as an awkward half-hour of TV hosted by Joel called the "What the...Awards". In those five-six shows the format was constrained by two things; having to give out actual award trophies to television moments and work comedy and writing around the premise, and trying to avoid being compared to "Best Week Ever". E! knew it was a disaster. Everybody knew it was a disaster. They could've cancelled it and released Joel from his contract.

Thankfully they came up with a Plan B format very quickly, which was "The Soup" we know and love today, and though it took a long time, the show found it's stride and within a couple of years, it was VH1 that was struggling and ended up reformatting BWE until it just felt like a pale copy of the show that used to pale copy itself.

I'm going to give "Web Soup" a fair chance. I know Chris Hardwick from his AOTS work and I know it took me a few weeks to adjust to Danielle on "The Dish" and Matt on "Sports Soup". It's just about tweaking the format until you find that perfect rhythm and remove the annoying parts and seeing what other web shows like "Tosh 2.0" and "DJ and the Fro" (which are both incredibly unwatchable) are doing wrong and just not doing that. It's part of the process with every one of these shows.

June 29 2009 at 7:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Vincent J. Murphy

The problem with Chris Hardwick is his Adam's Apple. The thing dances around like dribbling basketball. I can't watch Web Soup for more that a minute without being hypnotized by it.

June 29 2009 at 7:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Vincent J. Murphy's comment
mudflap

I feel the same way about ann coulter!

June 30 2009 at 5:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
beergas

Agreed. Only Thr Soup itself has any merit. Web one is horrid.
Babe one nah. Sports, why?
Do like CSI:Miami tho. No interest in Vegas or NYC.
Noticing how some drama series are doing partial localtion changes like NCIS going LA LA Land for a couple. Even Big Bang took the guys out of town a bit. Guess all that's a staple tho. Like King of Queens went to Atlantic City.
Soaps used to do that a lot until costs ended it.
Internet must really be drawing off eyes. Can't wait for the
Madoff Soup movie.

June 29 2009 at 7:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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